Redemption Road by John Hart

Book Description:

Published: May 3, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Imagine:

A boy with a gun waits for the man who killed his mother.

A troubled detective confronts her past in the aftermath of a brutal shooting.

After thirteen years in prison, a good cop walks free. But for how long?

And deep in the forest, on the altar of an abandoned church, the unthinkable has just happened…

This is a town on the brink. This is a road with no mercy.

After five years, John Hart returns with Redemption Road, his most powerful story yet.

Review –

This book is set in a  small city in North Carolina. The protagonist is police detective Elizabeth Black, who has been put on suspension because she appears to have used excessive force — 18 bullets — in killing two men in the basement where they were raping and torturing an 18-year-old girl. “Hero Cop or Angel of Death?” a newspaper headline asks.

Adrian Wall, a fellow officer whom she once idolized but who was convicted of murdering a woman in a ritualized way,  finishes serving his time and arrives back in town, and the killer strikes again. Besides sexual chemistry, Liz and Adrian share a reluctance to tell the truth about the incidents that have brought them under suspicion, and their motives for silence are the same: protecting someone else.

Liz’s campaign to clear Adrian is hampered by her suspension and her sizable shoulder chip. She has alienated her father, a rigid-minded minister, most of her fellow officers, and the brutal warden of the prison in which Adrian was confined. On the other hand, she has lavished motherly affection on 14-year-old Gideon, the vengeance-seeking son of the woman whom Adrian was convicted of killing, and Channing, the girl whose rape occasioned all those gunshots. 

This story is so convoluted and gets more so deeper into the plot we go. There is buried treasure, we find out who the serial killer is and the warden and his henchmen get there just due. BUT…Beckett, Liz’s partner of four years is paralyzed from a gut shot given by the warden, and exited his back, Gideon is left behind because he also needs urgent medical care at the end and Liz, Adrian and Channing one on the run.  BUT… there is an hea but you’ll have to read or listen to this book yourself to find out what it is.

Fantastic book!

Five stars!!

If I Run (If I Run #1) by Terri Blackstock

Book Description:

Published:

Format: Audio/Audible

 

Casey knows the truth.

But it won’t set her free.

Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they have failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.

But what is the truth? That’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up. Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan’s skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn’t guilty, why did she run?

Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

Review –

After finding best friend Brent Pace stabbed to death in his apartment, Casey Cox knows she will be the prime suspect and needs to make a decision quickly. Armed with thousands in cash that her father gave her for emergencies, she hops on a bus out of Shreveport, Louisiana, and becomes Grace Newland after purchasing the identity illegally.

Back in Shreveport, war-weary vet Dylan Roberts attends Brent’s funeral and is hired by a family friend in the police department to bring Casey home for questioning. As Dylan tries to determine Casey’s motive for murdering her friend, “Grace” is trying to establish a new life in Shady Grove, Georgia, thanks to Miss Lucy, an elderly woman she met on the bus. Sleuthing online from afar, Casey uncovers evidence that Brent had information pertaining to her father’s murder. Unsure who to trust as evidence begins to point to corrupt detectives, Casey digs into her family past to figure out what really happened to her father a decade before.

Dylan, just a few steps behind Casey, is skeptical of her involvement in Brent’s death. Will her questioning end up costing Casey her life, or will Dylan track her down in time to save them both? The author  is masterly in navigating the suspenseful fugitive plot, using the alternation of Casey’s and Dylan’s chapters to ratchet up the tension. Crisp dialogue and unexpected twists make this compulsive reading, and a final chapter cliffhanger leaves things poised for a sequel. 

I really enjoyed this story but the cliffhanger was a surprise because I didn’t know about the sequel. I plan on reading or listening to it as soon as I can find it.

The Last Mile (Amos Decker #2) by David Baldacci

Book Description:

Published: April 26, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Convicted murderer Melvin Mars is counting down the last hours before his execution–for the violent killing of his parents twenty years earlier–when he’s granted an unexpected reprieve. Another man has confessed to the crime.

Amos Decker, newly hired on an FBI special task force, takes an interest in Mars’s case after discovering the striking similarities to his own life: Both men were talented football players with promising careers cut short by tragedy. Both men’s families were brutally murdered. And in both cases, another suspect came forward, years after the killing, to confess to the crime. A suspect who may or may not have been telling the truth.

The confession has the potential to make Melvin Mars–guilty or not–a free man. Who wants Mars out of prison? And why now?

But when a member of Decker’s team disappears, it becomes clear that something much larger–and more sinister–than just one convicted criminal’s life hangs in the balance. Decker will need all of his extraordinary brainpower to stop an innocent man from being executed.

Review –

Decker is unlike any of Baldacci’s other characters, made unique by an extremely rare neurological condition called hyperthymesia–the result of a crushing helmet-to-helmet hit on the football field, which makes it impossible for Amos to forget anything.

While the idea of being able to vividly remember everything sounds awesome at first, in Decker’s case it’s also a curse.

Nearly twenty years after his NFL career ended, Decker, now a police detective, returned home to find his wife, young daughter, and brother-in-law brutally murdered. Unable to forget even the smallest of details from that night, he’s haunted and tortured by the loss of his family every single day. Those events take place in Baldacci’s previous novel, Memory Man, which came out last year–but also play a role in this year’s The Last Mile.

Because of the similarities  in their lives, Amos convinces the FBI team to take on Marvin’s case and the investigation seems straightforward enough until one of the team members turns up missing as a result of their poking around. Soon things begin to unravel as Decker races to answer a series of questions, including who might want to help free Melvin Mars, and why. 

The action is fast and furious but it is so much more than a good action thriller. It sheds light on racism, a father-son relationship and capital punishment.

Both Mars and Decker are substantive, solid characters. Although their football dreams were shattered in their youth by their respective tragedies, they hold their heads high and forge ahead.

I loved it and can’t wait for the next installment, The Fix, due to be released April 18th and I hope in future books the author reunites Amos and Melvin. They became friends in this book and it would be a shame not to team them up again!

Wild Reckless (Harper Boys #1) by Ginger Scott

Book Description:

Published: March 17, 2015

Kensington Worth had a vision for her senior year. It involved her best friends, her posh private school in downtown Chicago and time alone with her piano until her audition was perfected, a guaranteed ticket into the best music programs in the world.

Instead, a nightmare took over.

It didn’t happen all at once, but her life unraveled quickly—a tiny thread that evil somehow kept pulling until everything precious was taken from her. She was suddenly living miles away from her old life, trapped in an existence she didn’t choose—one determined to destroy her from the inside, leaving only hate and anger behind. It didn’t help that her neighbor, the one whose eyes held danger, was enjoying every second of her fall.

Owen Harper was trouble, his heart wild and his past the kind that’s spoken about in whispers. And somehow, his path was always intertwined with Kensington’s, every interaction crushing her, ruining her hope for any future better than her now. Sometimes, though, what everyone warns is trouble, is exactly what the heart needs. Owen Harper was consumed with darkness, and it held onto his soul for years. When Kensington looked at him, she saw a boy who’d gotten good at taking others down when they threatened his carefully balanced life. But the more she looked, the more she saw other things too—good things…things to admire.

Things…to love. Things that made her want to be reckless.

And those things…they were the scariest of all.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

When I started reading this book I thought it was a Young Adult novel, but the more I got into it, I changed my mind. I thought it would fit into the New Adult category, but by the ending I’m sure that it is somewhere in-between.

The plot of this story isn’t new: Girl from the city moves to a small town and right next door to the town’s BAD BOY and at first there is only indifference/hatred between them. But of course we all know that eventually the good girl will fall in love with the bad boy and will do things she knows she shouldn’t. What makes this NOT  young adult book is all the talk of drugs, alcohol and sex throughout the book, but don’t get me wrong, I LOVED IT, but I’m not a YA or a NA, so I can read anything I like. But, I wouldn’t want my teenage daughter (13-17) reading this because it makes sex, drugs and alcohol seem perfectly okay and it’s like no big deal .

The author writes a very steamy and descriptive  first time,Kensi was a virgin, sex scene between Owen and Kensi that is also beautiful. I was listening to it on Audible and it was in Chapter 21.

We learn that Owen has a train trunk full of baggage and why he is the dare-devil that he is. You can’t help but feel sorry for him and more than once I found myself yelling at the book, “Oh, good God, give the boy a break.” Kensi is also troubled but it’s because she learns the move was brought on by her father’s affair with her best friend and a weak mother figure,(most of the time).

As in all good YA or NA books there is a HEA and there isn’t another couple in the fiction world that deserved it more than Owen and Kensi.

Five stars *****

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The Last Detective (Elvis Cole #9) by Robert Crais

Book Description:

Published: March 30, 2004

P.I. Elvis Cole’s relationship with attorney Lucy Chenier is strained. Then the unthinkable happens. While Lucy is away on business and her ten-year-old son Ben is staying with Elvis, the boy vanishes without a trace. When the kidnappers call, it’s not for ransom, but for a promise to punish Cole for past sins he claims he didn’t commit. With the LAPD wrestling over the case, and the boy’s estranged father attempting to take control of the investigation, Cole vows to find Ben first. But Cole’s partner, Joe Pike, knows more about this case than he has said. Pike lives in a world where dangerous men commit crimes beyond all reckoning. Now, one of those men is alive and well in L.A.—and calling Elvis Cole to war. . . .

Review –

Joining forces with his enigmatic partner, Joe Pike, Elvis frantically searches for Ben with the help of LAPD Detective Carol Starkey, as Lucy’s wealthy, oil-industry ex-husband attempts to wrest control of the investigation. Amid the confusion of personal conflicts, Elvis and Joe are forced to consider a more troubling lead — one indicating that Ben’s disappearance is connected to a terrible, long-held secret from Elvis Cole’s past.

Venturing deep inside a complex psyche, Crais explores Elvis’s need for family – the military that embraced him during a troubled adolescence, his rock-solid partnership with Pike, and his floundering relationship with Lucy – as they race the clock in their search for Ben. The Last Detective is Robert Crais’ richest, most intense tale of suspense yet.

This book is a roller coaster ride which leaves you breathless but wanting more. The ending is bitter sweet but hopefully even Elvis Cole will one day  have his HEA.

Great read!

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Private #1 Suspect (Private #2) by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Book Description:

Published: January 2, 2012

Unsolvable cases

Since former Marine Jack Morgan started Private, it has become the world’s most effective investigation firm–sought out by the famous and the powerful to discreetly handle their most intimate problems. Private’s investigators are the smartest, the fastest, and the most technologically advanced in the world–and they always uncover the truth.

Impossible murders

When his former lover is found murdered in Jack Morgan’s bed, he is instantly the number one suspect. While Jack is under police investigation, the mob strong-arms him into recovering $30 million in stolen pharmaceuticals for them. And the beautiful manager of a luxury hotel chain persuades him to quietly investigate a string of murders at her properties.

The #1 suspect is Jack Morgan

While Jack is fighting for his life, one of his most trusted colleagues threatens to leave Private, and Jack realizes he is confronting the cleverest and most powerful enemies ever. With more action, more intrigue, and more twists than ever before, PRIVATE #1 SUSPECT is James Patterson at his unstoppable best.

Review –

This subject of this book is primarily Jack Morgan. Someone is framing him for the murder of his ex-girlfriend and he doesn’t know why or who but he has a pretty good idea, his twin brother Tommy.

As usual, the story is a combination of multiple stories going on at the same time and all being solved by Private, a private investigating firm that can get away with things others can’t.

It fast paced, action-packed but sometimes frustrating.  All in all, a great read or listen.

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The Chronicles of Katrina 1-4 by Karin Tabke

Book Description:

Published: March 18, 2014

THE DARE

Dr. Katrina Winslow has always known who she is: an elite scientist, a certifiable genius and ultra-reserved when it comes to love and relationships. So when a simple game of truth or dare offers the cool doctor the opportunity to shed her lab coat and glasses and put on a pair of sexy stilettos, she accepts the dare. But will shedding her inhibitions fulfill her every desire and help her discover if she can be truly daring or will it cost her everything?

Two men, one a sexy stranger, and a night of no holds barred passion.

DOUBLE DARE

Since The Dare that changed her life, Dr. Katrina Winslow has hooked up, broken up, hooked up again, and run like hell, but her drama’s just getting started. Not only does she lose her job, but unpredictable and sexy-as-hell cop Simon insists they have fantasies left to explore.

Simon’s a man who gets what he wants and he’s got Katy in his green-eyed crosshairs. Though Katy runs from him, she’s never further away than his fingertips, something he proves when he sexts her a provocative double dare.

Will the prim and proper scientist resist the sexy cop’s thrilling texts? Or will she allow Simon to strip her bare and guide her closer and closer to what she truly desires?

THE TRUTH

Since meeting the enigmatic Simon, Katrina Winslow’s life has been one roller coaster ride after another. Deep down, she’s certain the man who rocks her world in bed just might be the one to save her career and earn her love. But with not just one but two women pulling him away, Kat fears the man with all the answers will never give her the most important one–that he’s hers and hers alone.

Despite the secrets he must keep, Simon’s determined to help Katrina fight her battles and keep her close. She’s the most important woman to him, but she’s not the only one in his life. He’s already given his Cinderella

back her shoes; will he lose her heart when he tells her the truth?

THE CONSEQUENCE

They have been dared and doubled-dared, and they’ve flirted with the truth, but as Kat and Simon tumble deeper into their sexual odyssey, their love for one another blooms magnificent and fierce. Soon their love is threatened but Kat’s certain nothing can tear them apart. Then duty calls and Simon’s betrayal is revealed.

Will Kat run again or will she finally stand and fight for her man?

Review –
Simon West is an undercover law enforcement officer out to get a bad guy for international espionage when he bumps into Dr. Winslow  outside of an elevator and later that night accepts  her dare to be the third in an MMF menage.  She has no idea that Simon knows all about her and that her current boyfriend is the bad guy he’s after. After the explicit sex scenes, which are  totally relevant and act as the catalyst for the story that follows, he is asked to leave and Katrina finds out her boyfriend is a married man and has been using for to get at her research.
She is fired from her job and an arrest warrant issued because she has been set up by the douche bag ex-boyfriend.
Simon does what he can to help her and can’t seem to keep his hands off of her. 
Against his better judgment, Simon pursues Katrina. Relentlessly. All the while knowing he has no business falling for her or doing everything in his power to make her fall for him. There are too many secrets he can’t reveal. If she finds out the half of what he’s done or what he’s up to now it will not only devastate her, it just may get her killed.
Eventually. she does find out and it’s not pretty but later she agrees to wear a wire and get the bad guy to confess and it all works out for everyone, except of course, the bad guy.
Simon is a strong sexual male with knock them dead green eyes and his chemistry with Katrina is epic. I expected the pages to combust at any time.
It was a great read with a great story line and hot hot hot sex!
This is the first time I have read anything by Karin Tabke, but it won’t be the last.
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Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline

Book Description:

Published: April 14, 2015

Dr. Eric Parrish is the Chief of the Psychiatric Unit at Havemeyer General Hospital outside of Philadelphia. Recently separated from his wife Alice, he is doing his best as a single Dad to his seven-year-old daughter Hannah. His work seems to be going better than his home life, however. His unit at the hospital has just been named number two in the country and Eric has a devoted staff of doctors and nurses who are as caring as Eric is. But when he takes on a new patient, Eric’s entire world begins to crumble. Seventeen-year-old Max has a terminally ill grandmother and is having trouble handling it. That, plus his OCD and violent thoughts about a girl he likes makes Max a high risk patient. Max can’t turn off the mental rituals he needs to perform every fifteen minutes that keep him calm. With the pressure mounting, Max just might reach the breaking point. When the girl is found murdered, Max is nowhere to be found. Worried about Max, Eric goes looking for him and puts himself in danger of being seen as a “person of interest” himself. Next, one of his own staff turns on him in a trumped up charge of sexual harassment. Is this chaos all random? Or is someone systematically trying to destroy Eric’s life?

New York Times best selling author Lisa Scottoline’s visceral thriller, Every Fifteen Minutes,brings you into the grip of a true sociopath and shows you how, in the quest to survive such ruthlessness, every minute counts.

Review –

Great story line and had me hooked from the beginning. I thought I knew who the sociopath was but I was wrong and I love it when that happens because that means the story was not as predictable as I had first thought. I had the audio version and the only thing that kept it from getting a five-star rating was the narrator. He was bland and  I thought  he needed more emotion in his speech.

Great read, be sure and give it a try.

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Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #6) by Louise Penny

Book Description:

Published: September 28, 2010

It is Winter Carnival in Quebec City, bitterly cold and surpassingly beautiful. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has come not to join the revels but to recover from an investigation gone hauntingly wrong. But violent death is inescapable, even in the apparent sanctuary of the Literary and Historical Society— where an obsessive historian’s quest for the remains of the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain, ends in murder. Could a secret buried with Champlain for nearly 400 years be so dreadful that someone would kill to protect it?

Although he is supposed to be on leave, Gamache cannot walk away from a crime that threatens to ignite long-smouldering tensions between the English and the French. Meanwhile, he is receiving disquieting letters from the village of Three Pines, where beloved Bistro owner Olivier was recently convicted of murder. ‘It doesn’t make sense,’ Olivier’s partner writes every day. ‘He didn’t do it, you know.’ As past and present collide in this novel, Gamache must relive the terrible event of his own past before he can bury his dead.

 

Review –

There are actually three story lines going on in this installment of the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series and make for a roller coaster of a ride.

The Chief Inspector is in Quebec City on leave recuperating from a horrific event where agents he knew were killed, including one that we met in The Brutal Telling, Agent Moran. He was young, engaged, red-headed and could play the fiddle and Gamache left very closed to him. The author uses flashbacks in order for us to see how the kidnapping and murders occurred and it is heart wrenching. (I cried, of course).

The second story line is the murder in the  basement of the Literary and Historical Society of a man obsessed with finding the body of the Father of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain. 

And the final story line is a revisit to the murder in Three Pines that was told in The Brutal Telling. Gamache  is receiving disquieting letters from the Gabri in the  village of Three Pines where beloved Bistro owner Olivier was recently convicted of murder. “It doesn’t make sense,” Olivier’s partner writes every day. “He didn’t do it, you know.”

As past and present collide in this astonishing novel, Gamache must relive the terrible event of his own past before he can bury his dead.

All I can say is that this is the best of the series so far and if I could give it 10 stars, I would. It is a phenomenal piece of writing.

Five Stars *****

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Fear Me (Broken Love #1) by B.B. Reid

Book Description:

Published: January 26, 2015

I don’t believe in fairy tales and Prince Charming.

I believe in fear.

He taught me how to be afraid.

We first met on a playground on a wonderful summer day. It was the first time he hurt me and it wouldn’t be the last. For ten years, he’s been my tormentor and I’ve been his forbidden. But then he went away, and yet I was still afraid.

Now he’s back and wants more than just my tears. You see…he thinks I sent him away so now he wants revenge…and he knows just how to get it.

PLEASE READ THE WARNINGS. This book is a new adult and contains rough elements such as harsh language, mild violence, strong sexual content, alpha male, antihero, blackmail, and dubious consent.

Fear Me, in all, contains sensitive themes many people aren’t able to swallow.

Review –

I just finished reading Fear Me by B.B. Reid and I must say it is one of the darkest books that I have EVER read. 

Keiran Masters had been enslaved and abused for the first seven years of his life and trained as a killer. He admits to making his first kill at the age of six. Among his early kills was a little girl, Lily, who was being starved and beaten and would have been trained to do horrible things, had Keiran not killer her to save her. He also killed a woman who he later found out was his mother.

At the age of eight he goes to live with an Uncle and sees a little girl, Lake, trying to help a smaller boy down from a jungle gym and he pushes her off and she is hurt. Thus begins the  the ten-year obsession he has with her-hurting her, humiliating her, taking away her friends, hurting people she cares about and stealing her virginity. But he cares for her too but has a very hard time showing it. He has never been shown any form of kindness.  Lake, is scared to death of Keiran but eventually falls in love with him and then due to events beyond their scope of responsibility, he says he has to LET HER GO.  Lake can’t believe that he is discarding her, just like that. And to make matters worse, she finds out her parents, whom she thought had abandoned her, had really been murdered. The end took my breath away!

Love this book.  Going to start the next one right away.2FED61D33FBEDE862055F09805BBCB8C

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